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Thread: work interfering with art?

  1. #1
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    work interfering with art?

    hi, i am currently having a parttime job and i want to try to work on my more artistic side/career on the free time i have next to it.

    however i am considering to look for a fulltime job but i am very worried that if i do that, i can say goodbye to my dreams of becoming a fulltime artist.

    it is common knowledge that many artists have a parttime job next to their art stuff but how do you go about when you have a fulltime job? it must drain all your energy from you and not being able to do anything anymore when you come back home right?

    any ideas?

    i would preferably hear form those who are now fulltime artists but who used to have fulltime jobs next to it as well. how did you manage? any tips?

    thanks in advance
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  3. #2
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    I'm only 16, but from what I've gather on CGtalk and here, you can have a fulltime job and still have enough time to work on your art, but you will have to sacrifice free time for relaxing and socializing.

    To give you a specific example, there is a guy on CGtalk who was a fulktime bank teller for 12 years in Brazil. Fast forward 4 years of self teaching (from being a complete newb), and now he works as a senior character artist at ILM. Of course he worked his ass off, so really it all comes down to how much you're willing to give up.
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    I'm a full time artist in a full time job (textile/product design.) ...and married...and a mom to 2 dogs...and commute to work an hour each way...

    Personal art takes a lot of commitment to yourself on top of whatever commitments you already have. Spending time with friends who are artists helps. I'm getting back into doing more stuff for myself. Reverie should help!
    Last edited by H.Evans; March 27th, 2009 at 07:22 PM.
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  5. #4
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    thanks everyone it all sounds very interesting. i do not have much other commitments next to work and drawing, but i had a fulltime job once and i remember very well that i was really drained when i came back home.

    i would definately love to have more friends who are also artists to stimulate and inspire myself more but...so far no luck

    but i would love to hear more experiences and stories about this topic
    Last edited by bluemonika; September 16th, 2009 at 06:37 AM.
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  6. #5
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    It's not that hard to have both full time job and a thriving art career...unless you are married with young kids. By young, I mean a baby that needs attention all the time or a hyperactive toddler. It's nigh near impossible to juggle both full-time job and spending time with family, and still have time for art. I do manage to find some time but that means staying up late some nights during the work week, because the only time I can really concentrate on my art is when the kids are in bed.

    EDIT: I am not by any means trying to discourage you or anyone from having family, just that have to be prepared to spend way less time on art for at least a few years.
    Last edited by VulgarDragon; March 27th, 2009 at 10:38 PM.
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    You've got some pretty killer works in your sketchbook. I don't know if work has been getting in the way for awhile, but whatever you've been doing to practice, keep it up, cause you have some great stuff in there.
    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
    --- Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

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  8. #7
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    A large portion of Freelance creators, Concept Artist, and Comic Book artists alike have full time Jobs. Its often about how you use the time you have when your not working, and the practice it take to create some kind of work flow for yourself.
    This is only from the knowledge I have gained, either through Experience or reading.
    Keep up the hard work.
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  9. #8
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    "It's nigh near impossible to juggle both full-time job and spending time with family, and still have time for art."

    Seconded.
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  10. #9
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    hi everyone

    artzealot: to whom was this comment meanth for? ( just asking just in case cause many people who commented here have nice sketchbooks haha)

    TASmith and mad cross: i believe you guys there in an instant. the stories i hear about how much time kids take up...brr...but at the moment i have by no means any plans to have a familly ( don't even have a partner so why should i? ) so that is something i do not have to worry about.

    i guess the key is being consistent and devoted and having a HUGE amount of concentration and i guess this also takes some sort of practise hm? i think i will start practising on how to use my time and create a workflow like danvancool mentioned.

    what i also would like to know from those artists with a fulltime job is, what do you do when you get home from work? do you start drawing immedeately or have a some rest? or do you drink some magic energy drink? or eat something listen to music etc etc. things that help you to get the energy to start drawing.
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  11. #10
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    do you really want to get better at drawing?
    take a pair of scissors and cut you internet cable, your tv power cord and any cords to whatever video game device you have , (un-plug them first)

    stop wanting and start doing.

    its not magic its dedication, determination and discipline,
    you can question and think about it all day but taking action is the only thing that will amount to a measurable result.

    log out and go for it.
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  13. #11
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    If you have a fulltime job that actually gets the money out of you, you do nothing. Not all fulltime jobs are created equal. If you're really lucky and manage to land one where you get paid to do nothing all day, you probably have enough energy to do other things at work/when you get home. If you have one where they work you even just to normal expectations of performance, it's likely you have no energy when you get home to do something as intensive as arting of any kind.

    I only once had a fulltime job that allowed me spare time and energy to do creative stuff at the same time, and I stupidly gave it up for something (I didn't know at the time was) much much worse.
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  14. #12
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    hi

    If you're really lucky and manage to land one where you get paid to do nothing all day, you probably have enough energy to do other things at work/when you get home.
    maybe it applies to certain people, but for me it doesn t. i m more tired if i have to stay glued to a chair and the computer for 8 hours and have nothing to do. Time goes by faster if you have something to do.

    i have a full time job, (8-10 hours every day) but when i get home, all i want to do is draw. I find it the most relaxing thing in the world.

    i m no way a professional artist, i m a newb at this, but when i get home i usually get a glass of wine, play a movie in the background( married with children must be the best tv show in the world) and get out my pencil and paper. Of cource that there are frustrations when the drawing doesn t come out just as good as you thought it would, or imagined it, but it s a very different frustration then the one you get at work, so you will have enough energy for it.

    i guess my basic idea is this: work(the one you have to do because you have to make money) and drawing are different parts of the same day, and just because they are so different they will drain you of your energy but in very different way. So, because one has nothing to do with the other (exept maybe if you work as an artist) if you really want to draw you will have time and energy for it .
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  15. #13
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    Let me share my thoughts on this subject.
    I've had a full-time (non-art) job for over 10 years now and switched jobs a couple of times so I might be able to answer your question somewhat.

    Imagine you go to a large amusement park. You can do all kinds of wonderfull stuff there. So you spend the entire day there and when you arive home you collapse because you are exhausted.
    However, the amusement park is close and you have free passage the entire season. So the next day you go again. And you are exhausted again. Next day same thing. However, after a while you get used to going to the park every day and you will balance things more. You won't be exausted anymore, only when you do something special.

    The same is true for a full-time job. The first months will drain you. You meet new people, have to learn new things, get used to a lot of new stuff. I mentored new people at my work and I know they are exhausted after a couple of hours. I always warn them to slow down and take things easy. After a while you get used to things. You will know most people around, know the basics of your job and how to handle most things.
    At this point you won't be drained when you get home anymore.
    Sure you will have some hard days, but not that many.

    Next we have Android's advice. It's something I can fully agree with.
    There are a lot of things consuming time and probably more fun than making art. This is ok when you have a lot of time, but with a full-time job you will be looking at a few hours a day at most.
    For example, I get up around 7AM and arrive home at 7PM. Then I still need to cook and do some household stuff (dishes, laundry, cleaning).
    And I'd like to go to bed between 10PM and 11PM else I won't get enough sleep. So I have to squeeze a lot of stuff in about 3 hours/day.
    This includes my online gaming (not WoW) and some social stuff.
    I mainly fill my weekend with shopping, some gaming, social stuff and once in a while a little drawing.

    If you want to be a full-time artist someday I would start taking it serious now and work for it. This means devoting a lot of your spare time into whatever you feel you need to do to improve. A little story on this. I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. For some reason I was interested in computers and learned a lot about them (that's around 1992/93). I devoted a lot of my spare time into understanding how they work. At my second full-time job my supervisor noticed that I knew a lot about computers and when he moved to another company and they needed a systems administrator he asked if I was interested. I accepted and a couple of years later was asked to join another company because they thought I was good. Two years later I was asked for my current position which is a lot less technical but I enjoy it a lot.

    There are two lessons to be learned from this. First, because I devoted a lot of time into understanding computer things I stood out of the crowd. Everyone can know these things, it's nothing special. I just practiced more.
    It will be the same in art. If you see my drawings you can see I don't 'understand' certain aspects of drawing. I'm still learning, so that's ok for me. But if someone was to hire an artist they would not pick me. Why? Because there are many others who do understand the things I don't. It's basic stuff, not rocket science.

    The next lesson is a warning.
    I moved out of technical IT 8 years ago. My position still requires some knowledge, but I know I've lost my touch with it. I can't go back anymore without putting a huge amount of effort in it. I could have easily kept my knowledge up to date with one, perhaps 2 hours of study a week.
    The moment you stop practicing art for a while you will lose your touch. It's far easier to keep it up to date than to quit and restart later.
    Whatever you do, even if your job completely drains you, keep working on your art, even if it's only a few hours a week.

    Last I have one reminder.
    If someone is to hire you, they will look at your motivation.
    If you have doubts whether or not you can keep up to art besides a full-time job, I'm not sure you have the right motivation. A job isn't only about making pretty pictures. It's about meeting with customers, schedules, deadlines, fixed working times and all that kind of 'annoying' stuff. You better enjoy it, else it will be the kind of job Opilione describes.
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